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MacEdition Pro News : February 18, 2003

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Things just evolve

The xDarwin Group is taking orders for its imminent release of a new X11 windowing software that will deliver faster 2D screen draws and utilize a new font configuration library to step up the speed of the environment.

Notable improvements will include:
  • Hardware accelerated GLX in rootless mode
  • Ability to use all native Mac OS X fonts
  • new -configure X server option
  • Faster 2-D drawing in rootless mode
  • Much faster full screen mode 2-D drawing, comparable to rootless mode
  • New font configuration library (fontconfig)

Pre-orders will see the group deliver a shiny new CD of the software for US$44.95 while those who wait for the software’s final release be asked to cough up $69.95 for the CD.

There is a prerelease demo available for those who wish to try out the software, but the group is waving disclaimers that it should be downloaded only by those adventurous souls who understand and accept the risks associated with playing around with software that isn’t quite ready for prime time.

Help gets better

MacsDesign Studio released a new version of Web Help Desk, an online technical support package aimed at the enterprise and education markets.

The new version includes an embedded FrontBase database engine, simpler LDAP configuration, streamlined client problem reporting, job tracking that accounts for overtime hours, and support for WebObjects 5.2 on Mac OS X and Windows 2K servers.

“We’ve worked closely with our current customers to build the feature set they want,” said Jonathan Lew, President of MacsDesign Studio. “Web Help Desk is now the premier support solution in its class.”

An online demo of the product is available on MacsDesign’s Web site.

The software sells for US$3,350 for a two-technician license and scales up to US$15,000 for an unlimited license. Educational pricing starts at US$2,300.

Boss those prefs around

Zik Software has updated its renowned Prefs Overload to run on Mac OS X and given the utility the ability to allow the user to load custom preferences presets.
Main Features
  • Runs on Mac OS Classic and Mac OS X
  • Accurate scanning, based on mother application, modification date and internal preferences database.
  • Not only displays if a file is possibly unnecessary, but also displays a rating on the side.
  • Finds damaged preference files
  • VERY fast scanning
  • Scans for nonstandard Preferences folder, so you can scan Preferences folders of all operating systems on your computer (including Mac OS X) and of all Mac OS X users, logging in as root user.
  • Full PDF help included
  • Runs on every Mac with a PPC Processor

PrefsOverlord is a US$15 shareware title and can be obtained from Zik’s download page.

iSpeak, my Mac obeys

MacSpeech Inc. is giving users of its voice dictation program, iListen, the ability to extend their vocal commands to control Apple’s iLife suite and Mail programs.

“This is the first set of releases for extending our Voice Command and Control capability on Mac OS X,” said MacSpeech’s Donald MacCormick. “We wanted to start with the iLife applications and grow from there.”

The modules are part and parcel of new ScriptPaks the company has released for iListen 1.5.1 and run on Jaguar. Each module sells for US$10 a pop and can be found at the MacSpeech Web store.

Did somebody say Web chat?

Dutch electronics giant Philips Semiconductor is championing a new reference design which would allow makers of 802.11b routers to incorporate Voice over IP technologies into their products.

Voice over IP allows users to treat the Internet as their long distance carrier; long-distance calls can be placed at virtually no cost to the user.

The new reference design will make it possible for manufacturers of SOHO routers and residential gateways to quickly design a variety of products that allow consumers to connect multiple wireless electronic devices and multiple cordless handsets for up to four separate VoIP phone numbers.

The Philips gateway-on-a-chip design is a Linux-based solution which supports 10/100BaseT Ethernet, 802.11b wireless, USB 2.0, corded voice FXS and FXO, WAP, NAT, VPN and Stateful Packet Inspection Firewall protocols. The design is available for licensing for US$5,000 per design and further information can be found on Philips’ technology white papers page.

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